It's a question that many wives have asked their husbands in the car: why don't you ask for directions?

The latest findings suggests that a man's reluctance to accept outside help may not be down to his machismo instinct, but instead his need to stick to his original "system" such as a map or a set of directions, even if it is useless.

The latest findings reveal that while women are more likely to accept change in order to reach a goal, being forced to accept the fact that their system failed makes men flustered, which is why men will often rigidly stick to their original "system" even though it has clearly led them astray.

Often, when they are forced to confront the fact that their "system" does not work, they will speed up in a desperate attempt to avoid admitting the reality of the situation. In contrast, women are more than happy to use all available resources to help them reach a destination, even if that means stopping and asking for directions.

Tristan Gooley, an explorer and master of 'natural navigation,' had noticed the difference between men and women while running courses in the use of astrology cues for orientation, according to The Telegraph.

He said that when men were shown a picture of a house with a low sun beside it, they struggled to tell whether the sun was rising or setting because they relied on the "system" taught by the explorer. However, women shown the same picture realized that the sun must be setting because the lights in the house were on, meaning it was more likely the day was ending rather than beginning.

"Women have less faith in a system ... men like systems so they stay within the system even if it isn't working," Gooley told the BBC Radio 4 Today program. He added that, in the context of a car journey, men refuse to ask directions because that would mean admitting to the fact that their system was not working.

"If you admit a system doesn't work once, the fear creeps in that it doesn't work at all and so there is a panic. Men won't admit it, but that is my theory why men don't ask for directions," he said.

Dee Cafari, the solo round-the-world sailor, agreed with Gooley.

"I think maybe our outlook and our view is different. I would say that women are more open to alternative suggestions," Cafari added.  "It is a little like creating something from a box - the women will read the instructions to find out how it should be done and the men will just go forth and see what bits are left over."